Sunday, February 15, 2015

Artful Journeys - Week # 7 Mardi Gras


We're going to let the good times roll (translation) for upcoming Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and in celebration of Carnivale.  Nothing is off limits, everything goes, be wild, be gaudy and have fun. That's what Mardi Gras is all about!

I have been to many Mardi Gras celebrations throughout the south during my lifetime, and of course the most raucous celebration here in the states I think happens in good ole 'Nawlins.  That would be New Or-leens to you folks living north of the Red River and the Mason-Dixon line. LOL.  I have a sizeable collection of beads, and many coveted King beads that I will neither admit nor deny to participating in debauchery to obtain.  What happens in "Nawlins" stays in "Nawlins."  And of course, that was a long, long time ago in my much younger (and wilder) days.  We don't talk about that now.

For this week's prompt at Artful Journeys, I prepared two very different things.  The first, a spread in my large Dylusions journal using assorted techniques and materials.  I scraped on a background of craft acrylic in Spring Green, Parakeet and Caterpillar.  Then I applied a thin coat of a heavy metallic gold acrylic paint that is super glittery.   While wet, I used my Soft Swirls background stamp by Stampin' Up to imprint some of the design into the paint.  Some of the paint lifted, but that's okay.  I knew I wasn't creating something to be "perfect" anyway.

I knew I wanted to somehow emulate the sensory overload that you go on when you attend a Mardi Gras celebration.  Especially in New Orleans.  Music is everywhere. Lights. Costumes. Confetti. Beads. Glitter. Wafting smells of food drifting out of restaurants and bistros into the streets.  Bazillions of people of every imaginable description, in every conceivable state of sobriety or intoxication.   To me, the entire city comes alive during Mardi Gras.

So I drew a kind of "explosion" spewing forth from the center, representing of course, the French Quarter, where all the fun happens and branching out all over the city and into the 'burbs.  I painted the bottom of this explosion with Purple Monster and Parakeet craft paint, several thin coats to get a deeper sense of the color.  Then I highlighted with a gold Signo Uniball pen.  Bits of "confetti" and music are represented by doodles, again with a black Signo Uniball pen and the confetti filled in with assorted acrylic paints.

I lettered "Laissez les bon temps roulette" (Let the good times roll) with Signo Uniball pens in black and white.

And here is the finished page.  The glittery parts really shine, and of course play havoc when trying to photograph under less-than-ideal circumstances in my kitchen, and at night.  I hope you enjoy it and that it brings a smile to you!

My second thing I made sits opposite the above page in my Dylusions journal on a similarly colored background, with Laissez les bon temps roulette, Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday  written all around the edge of the page with black Signo Uniball pen.

I created a Mardi Gras mask!  I cut a mask template that I found online (here).  I don't have the exact link since I saved it years ago.  I dug out my big ole bag of decorative feathers and began applying them all over the mask I cut from some cardboard packaging I had saved (imagine that!!). 

 I added some flat jewel stones around the eyes and in the center.  I trimmed up the feathers at the nose area and slightly around the edges.  Always fun to find another creative outlet "just because".  I have many styles and types of Mardi Gras masks over the years, and I have to say working with these feathers is my least favorite. They are fussy. They fly everywhere. They are hard to get to stick down without jacking them up.  But it is another medium, and another thing to play with.  Can't beat that. We just move on to the next thing and will look back and laugh later.

So however you celebrate Mardi Gras, do it in style and with gusto.  You don't have to be of any particular religious persuasion to go out and have some fun.

Stay artful!

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